Ralph Dunning has spent more than thirty-five years working in the Australian wine industry representing wineries from across Australia and across the globe. He is a widely respected top-level wine executive who, for more than 27 years, at different times, headed both the Sales and Marketing divisions of the Yalumba Wine Company. He has been the Treasurer of the Wine Communicators of Australia, a consultant to the wine industry in general, founding partner of Byron & Harold Wines as well as currently serving as the Executive Officer of Australia’s First Families of Wine – a cohort of 12 of Australia’s most successful and respected family wine businesses. Ralph is passionate about wine and the liquor industry at large and for twenty-two years has been an active and enthusiastic board member of the drinks association of Australia – serving for the last sixteen years as Chair of the Board.
Michael Ritoli is currently General Manager National Sales at Asahi Premium Beverages. Michael has extensive experience in Sales, Human Resources, leading and developing highly effective sales teams, and the ability to align achievements and goals with the corporate vision. Michael has over 28 years of experience in FMCG and the beverage industry with CCA and Fosters Group. Michael has been on the Drinks Association Board for 6 years and is also an Executive Board Member of the Drinks Association and has participated in numerous senior leadership programs throughout his career.
Michelle has extensive liquor industry experience, having held various leadership positions in Account Management and Field Sales during her 15 years at Lion. Prior to this, Michelle spent 13 years working across the retail, sales and marketing divisions of the Coles Liquor Group. Known as a natural go-to person, Michelle has an impressive ability to build outstanding business relationships and is highly respected by industry peers and team members alike. She is a sales leader that is results focused and people oriented. She’s passionate about delivering exceptional customer experiences and commercial outcomes. Michelle has been a member of the Drinks Association Board since 2017
A seasoned sales professional, Mark holds extensive experience in senior leadership roles across both large and medium size wine businesses. Mark has steered the premiumisation of the Casella Family Brands portfolio since early 2013 with drive and enthusiasm. He is committed to building strong solution centric business relationships.
Jeff has worked for Pernod Ricard in various commercial roles for 13 years, with experience in customer management, operation and strategy roles. In 2016, Jeff took on the role of Commercial Director at Pernod Ricard Australia, moving from the position of National Business Manager – Endeavour Drinks Group prior to that. Jeff has a Post Graduate degree in Human Resource Management and has a passion for Leadership and cultural development.
Andrew is a highly driven Senior Executive, with over 30 years in the FMCG industry, and a wealth of experience operating successfully at President and General Management levels in global brand-leading companies. With significant exposure in multiple countries and categories, and with deep and broad experience here in Australia.
Cam Pearce has been on the Coopers Board since 2002. He started his career in Shell Australia in sales and marketing roles in Adelaide, Melbourne and Port Moresby PNG. He was also CEO at Meals on Wheels (SA) Inc. for ten years.
With over 15 years in the drinks industry, Chris currently leads Diageo’s Independent, On-Trade and Wholesale business. Chris’s experience spans a range of marketing and multi-channel commercial roles in Australia, the UK and Asia, after a successful career in finance with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
John Barakat is the General Manager, Retail & Wholesale Operations at Australian Liquor Marketers. John has extensive experience across the FMCG industry having spent over 17 years working across various divisions of the Metcash Group including his most recent role as CFO for ALM. Over this time John has gained extensive experience working closely with Retailers and has a good understanding of the Liquor industry.
Kristy entered the liquor industry in 2008, joining William Grant & Sons when the Australian subsidiary was formed in 2010. Since that time Kristy has held various positions across the domestic and international markets, working with a multitude of local and global customers.
Matt has been part of the liquor industry over the past 20 years and has been part of the Brown-Forman family since 2005. His experience at the company spans a variety of different roles including team leadership, key customer management and channel leadership. Matt is currently Sales Director and has a passion for growing people and teams and nurturing culture. Matt also leads a number of Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at Brown-Forman.
Mitchell Taylor is third-generation Managing Director and winemaker for Clare Valley family-winery, Taylors Wines. Mitchell worked in finance and stockbroking in both London and Sydney before joining Taylors Wines in 1988 and later becoming the Managing Director in 2000. His commitment to the Australian wine industry extends to involvement in key industry associations, including his role as a founding and current director of Australia’s First Families of Wine, Chairman of the National Wine Foundation, and Director of The Drinks Association. In October 2018 Mitchell joined the Wine Australia Board as a Director. Mitchell was also named as a finalist in the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards.
A 30-year veteran of the industry, Paul has been with Samuel Smith & Son for more than 20 years. Joining the Company in 1995, Paul moved into management in 1996, working in either Sales or State Manager roles in all states. He was appointed General Manager Sales for Samuel Smith & Son in 2012, before assuming his current role in 2014.
Peter is a senior Sales and Marketing Executive with 20 years’ experience in both Customer and Sales Force management across the FMCG, grocery , beverages, alcohol and consumer electronics sectors. Peter has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is current leading CUB's largest state field team as the Regional Sales Director in NSW/ACT driving strong results through developing a great team, setting a clear state strategy and delivering quality in outlet execution.
Sarah joined the Drinks Association board in 2018, with 20 years’ experience in the drinks industry across the alcohol and non-alcohol beverage sectors. She worked in senior roles at Diageo and Guinness for 10 years, and subsequently worked for nine years at PepsiCo, giving her valuable experience in the FMCG sector. Sarah returned to the alcohol beverages industry when she joined Treasury Wine Estates in late 2017. Through her career, Sarah has gained strong insight and perspective on the value of drinks industry in attracting and retaining top talent, and the contribution it makes to the economy. She is passionate about building strategies to challenge current norms, while continuing to champion what is unique, aspirational about the drinks industry.
General Manager Marketing, Scott Burton has 20 years’ experience in the global wine industry, having worked for, and consulted to, some of the world’s largest wine companies, retailers and generic marketing associations. WSET certified, Burton joined the Australian Vintage team as head of marketing in 2011. An Alternate Director of the Drinks Association since 2013, Burton is passionate about the ongoing evolution and increased focus on diversity and inclusion in the wine and broader liquor category.
Shane has extensive experience in the liquor industry, having worked at Diageo, Constellation Brands and Treasury Wine Estates
Simon Durrant joined Campari Australia in July 2018 from The Clorox Company where he was General Manager, ANZA. With more than 25 years of industry experience across Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Europe; Simon has held senior commercial roles at Diageo Australia, Accolade Wines, Nestlé Waters and Seagram. Simon has rich experience in aligning organisations to strategic growth agendas, creating incremental value from the customer base and in creating a sustainable competitive advantage. He is recognised for making a positive impact on culture and engagement, leadership teams and business results. Since April 2019 Simon has also taken on the role of Chair of The Drinks Association Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Tobias has over 20 years of experience in the liquor industry and is the Sales Director of Licensed for Coca Cola Amatil. He has been with CCA for 6 years and started in this role in 2019. Prior to CCA. Tobias developed his career across sales and marketing roles in Australia, New Zealand and Europe with SABMiller and Grolsch.
Warwick Brook has worked for De Bortoli Wines for over 20 years, holding various positions during his tenure. His dedication to the business has seen Warwick help shape a family business into one of Australia's leading wine companies. Along the journey he has been responsible for Key Accounts, National Key Accounts and the Major Chains. He presently holds the position of NSW/ ACT State Manager, which he has done since 2002.
Ben Slocombe is the Beer and Cider Business Director at Coca-Cola Amatil, appointed in March 2020. Ben is an accomplished FMCG leader who has obtained significant marketing, sales and commercial experience over his career. He spent 15 years in the beer category at Lion, with his most recent role there being Lion Marketing Director. Following that, Ben was Marketing Director ANZ at Blackmores. His extensive liquor category knowledge combined with his leadership, brand building and commercial acumen enables Ben to lead teams to achieve their growth aspirations.
Bill has over 30 years expertise in F&B FMCG, Agribusiness and related operations, including over 20 years wine industry experience. Bill's IT work has been recognised via a "Most Innovative CIO of the year" award (MIS, 2005). Bill was also runner up for the "CIO of the year - Retail" award (2016), for work on Agricultural JIT Supply Chain integration
David is a Sales and Marketing professional with extensive liquor industry experience. David has worked at Swift & Moore, Tucker Seabrook, Fine wine Partners and Foley Family Wines NZ before moving into his current role at Brown Family Wine Group as National Business Manager – Endeavour Drinks Group.
Emma is the Wine Portfolio Marketing Manager for Pernod Ricard Australia and has worked in the drinks industry both here and in the UK for 18 years. During Emma’s time she has worked across sales, category and marketing in beer, spirits and wine.
Commencing his career in 1992 with BRL Hardy, John has dedicated his working life to the wine industry holding various roles in both the domestic and global markets. John was appointed to the position of State Manager NSW / ACT Samuel Smith & Son in May 2015 and was appointed to the Drinks Board as an Alternate Director in 2017.
With the merger of Coopers and Premium Beverages into one business, Mark has now assumed the role of managing sales nationally and continues to oversee the partner brands on a commercial level. Previous to the merger, Mark was a founding member of Premium Beverages and General Manager – Sales and Marketing, overseeing successive years of growth. Other experience includes various senior sales and marketing roles with Fosters, Bonlac and Simplot.
Mark is the National Sales Director for Lion Australia, having been appointed to the role in 2011. During Mark’s time at Lion he has held several different regional sales roles in both Adelaide and Brisbane, before he relocated to Sydney in 2008 to head up the Sales function. Prior to Lion Mark spent eight years with Coca Cola Amatil in their soft drink business and eight years with Price Waterhouse in Sydney and London. It was the latter where he gained his love of the amber ale!
Nicole has more than 20 years marketing experience. She has held local, regional and global marketing, innovation, category and trade marketing roles across Europe, Asia and Australasia for Blue Chip Multinational companies such as Unilever, Cadbury, SCA and Diageo.
Oliver Dickson is the Head of Marketing ANZ for William Grant and Sons, having relocated to Australia with his family from the WGS global team in February 2018. Through his 8 years with the business he has worked in a variety of positions across multiple markets including, Global Brand Director for the world’s No.3 Scotch Grants whisky, Head of premium spirits for the UK business and a number of marketing roles looking after both owned and 3rd party distributor brands in Europe. Prior to joining the William Grant’s business Oliver held numerous marketing positions at Dairy Crest PLC, owner of some the UKs largest dairy brands, having made the shift from retail buying where he started his career at Foodstuffs New Zealand, the No.1 grocery supplier to the NZ market.
Paul Morris joined Bacardi in 2001, and is currently the Logistics & Supply Director for Bacardi-Martini Australia. With 35 years of experience in Operations, he has worked in Liquor, Telecommunications and FMCG